Church Based After School Programs: Decorating for Christmas

Have the kids decorate your center for Christmas.

MATERIALS: Popcorn Garland: popcorn, needles, thread/dental floss; Window Paint: powdered paint, dish soap, bowls, brushes; Christmas Ornaments: flour, water, salt, holiday themed cookie cutters, wax paper, pencils, brushes, tempera paint;Christmas Chain: red and green construction paper, scissors, glue; Christmas Snowflakes: white paper, scissors; Crèche: three recipes of art dough, yellow paper, butter or cream cheese box, two cereal boxes, stones/dirt, brown construction paper, crayolas, sheet of cardboard, glue, tooth picks, scissors,

(The directions below were taken from the Kidtrek Life Skills Curriculum)


  • Plan to continue this activity in your craft time – there are no other craft suggestions this week
  • Split your Life Skills/Craft time to have one day be the making (crafts) of the decorations and one day be the decorating of the KidTrek Center(Life Skills)
  • This week you will have the kids decorate your center
  • A survey was once taken of elementary kids.  The question was, “What do you most like about Christmas?”  The overwhelming response was, “Decorating the house.”  Decorating the house was overwhelmingly more popular than opening gifts
  • Today you may want to spend the majority of your time planning
  • This is a great activity to do as a KidTrek Center family – thus there are no directions for teens.  Have everyone participate together if possible
  • If your teens meet at a different time than the younger kids, have all the ornaments made one day, then during a Family Time that week have a celebration decorating the center
  • Be flexible with your scheduling this month – it is a month of celebration
  • Decide which decorations will be made
  •   As a group decide how you will work the day
  • It will run most smoothly if an adult is responsible to oversee the making of each decoration
  • The greatest Life Skills lesson the kids will learn may be how the Secondary Nurturers deal with the need to be flexible; how do the Secondary Nurturers deal with organized chaos?

 Popcorn Garland

  • Have a volunteer pop popcorn – make enough to eat too
  • Thread needles with thread or dental floss
  • Make a sample  (Directions on page 23  )

Window Paint

  • Gather needed materials  (Recipe in PDF below )

Christmas Ornaments

  •  Have a volunteer make the dough and samples (Recipe in PDF below  )

Christmas Chain

  • Make a sample  (Directions below  )

Christmas Snowflakes

  • Have a volunteer make circle patterns
  • Make a sample (Directions in PDF below  )


  •   Have a volunteer make a sample
  • Gather all the materials  (Directions in PDF below  )

Guided Conversation

  1. What is Christmas?
    It is the celebrations of Christ – the celebration of Jesus the Messiah coming to pay the price for our sins
  2. In everything we do at Christmas it is important for us to remember why we are celebrating.  Our decorations can be a message to others of what Jesus means to us.  As we plan our decoration today lets remember we want to bring honor and glory to Jesus.

The Activity

  • Listed below are several different types of decorations that the kids can make and then put up in the center
  • Before you begin show the kids the possible decorations they can make
  • Give time for each Trek Team to come up with three suggestions of
    how the KidTrek Center should be decorated
  • They are also to tell how this will bring honor and glory to Jesus
  • Each Trek Team appoints a spokesperson to share their three
    suggestions to the group
  • Have butcher paper/black board or white board on which you can write the suggestions and how the suggestion will bring glory to Jesus
  • When you have put down all the suggestions discuss which ones are possible
  • Remind the kids that after Christmas they will also have to take the decorations down and clean up everything
  • If you are able, and the kids want to, let them make extra decorations that they can take home and decorate their own homes

Popcorn Garlands

  • This may be an activity only for the older kids
  • Show them how to use the needle and thread to string the popcorn together
  • You can also alternate different colored jelly beans, jujubes, or cranberries to add color to your garland
  • Let the kids decide where they want to drape their garlands

Christmas Windows

  • Mix together the paint powder and dishwashing soap
  • Experiment with amounts to get the consistency you desire
  • Discuss with the kids what kinds of painting they would like to do on the windows
  • How might the pictures share Christ with people who drive or walk past?
  • After Christmas the pictures will wipe off easily with a wet rag

Dough Christmas Ornaments

  • Show the kids the various cookie cutters from which they can
  • Show the kids how to cut out designs using the cookie cutters
  • Use a pencil to poke holes in the top of each ornament
  • Paint the ornaments as desired
  • Tie a colored ribbon through the hole in the ornament and hang
    on the Christmas tree
  • The kids can also make free form decorations
  • The Art Dough will dry over night

Christmas Chain

  • Cut strips (across the width of paper, 1 inch thick) of red and green
    construction paper
  • Take one end and glue to opposite end
  • The second strip loop through the first – and so forth
  • Have the kids connect their chains
  • Let the kids decide where they want their chains to be hung

Christmas Snowflakes

  • Cut out a circle of white paper
  • You can have cardboard shapes for them to trace
  • OR let them cut the circles free hand (it will make them even more creative
  • Fold in half, then in half again and for a third time in half
  • Cut triangles, squares, etc. out of each side, being careful not to cut completely across
  • Each one will open to being a unique snowflake

(There is a second Creche in the PDF below)

  • The crèche can be as large or as small as you desire
  • CHARACTERS: Using Art Dough make images of Mary,
    Joseph, Jesus as a baby (make sure the kids understand
    Jesus is no longer a baby), shepherds, three wise men, camels,
    donkeys, cows, lambs,
  • STRAW: Cut thin strips of yellow paper for the straw
  • CRADLE: use a butter box or cream cheese box, cut off the top; glue toothpicks on the box; let dry then paint brown; add “straw” to the “cradle”
  • BARN: two identical cereal boxes, put stones or dirt in boxes so they will stand, cover boxes with brown construction paper – color paper to look like wood; stand boxes apart from each other distance will depend on size of art dough characters;  large sheet of cardboard folded to make shape of roof, cover with
    ”straw”; place straw on floor of manger
  • Put baby Jesus in cradle and place in barn, place all the other art
    dough characters in the manger

One response to “Church Based After School Programs: Decorating for Christmas

  1. Pingback: Child Discipleship: Christmas Gathering Questions | KidTrek: Sunday Plus

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